Baton Rouge Jan 17th., 1864
My Dear Mother
I will now answer your last welcome Letter although I have nothing of importance to write unless to tell you that I am not only well but growing quite fleshy and my Arms look more like Lutes did when he came from California.1 All of our Men are on duty, not one Sick and one year ago we had 25 on the list.
I was looking over the old Book & it called to mind Luthers Sickness, as well as my own. You did not know that I was Sick from Jan 8th (63) to Feb 17th & how near I came to going into the Hospital Did you? Luther can tell you about it if he has not already.2
I suppose I must go on Picket tomorrow but I like it Tip Top as I am on only once a week & hardly that, not so the Men. Hyram is on Guard at the Slaughter House and is full of his jokes as ever. I tell you he asked Oliver about his little Cherbs (cherubs) and felt much pleased at his description. I think he is a good Man to his Family for he likes to talk with me about them and seems to send them all the Money he can. How cruel it is to separate so many, but I think it is good in the end, it certainly has been so for me.3
I am thankful John is doing so well & I should not blame you for expecting something for helping him. I could not help you before I came out here but I mean to now and when I return. I should think the Girls would be a great help to you & then Charlie is such a good Boy I must not forget him. I hope he will always like to work in the house & he will if managed right. I can have no idea how our large Family could be brought up so well but for your untiring interest and I want to see you amply paid, as I have no doubt you will be.
I cant help worring some about Luther but I trust you will nourse him all right and make him as well as ever. Give my Love to him & tell him I shall write to him very soon.
About sending by Oliver you done just right for he had about all he could do to look after his own things, so do not feel bad as I was not disappointed in the least.
Today has been a beautiful one but it is clouding up tonight. I have not been to meeting as to many passes could not be given out. I am sorry for we had a good Meeting last Sunday. The Church filled with Soldiers & one of Co C played on the Melodeon, The singing done me more good than the preaching. I cant call to mind the Text but it was to me & that I liked. I am still living, as I trust a Christian & O! how much happier one is. I shall be glad when I can get home to talk with you but not bothering you with questions. any questions asked me I either answer or else talk the questioner out of being foolish which I surely was. I will write soon & hope you will do the same
1 In Henry's August 28, 1861 letter, (first in the Moulton Collection and written one year before Henry's enlistment) he informs his mother that Luther wrote Mr. Forbes for a chance on his ship which sails from New York to China via California.
2 Henry's official Civil War Pension File at the National Archives contains several records attesting to this illness: James H Wade, Captain, Company I, wrote: "George H Moulton on or about the fifteen of January 1863 contracted Malarial fever while in the line of his duty and was sent to the Regimental Hospital for treatment - this at Carrolton, La." Click below to see the full document:
3 Henry mentions 'Hyram' (Hiram Nye) several times in his letters. This paragraph is particularly poignant and tragic, for Hiram's wife, Augusta (Hunt) Nye, died on 28 Feb. 1864 and his daughter Ella on October 10, 1864, from diphtheria. Joseph Hunt, Sarah Hunt and Mary Hunt, siblings of Augusta, all succumbed to the same disease within a month's of Ella's death — all were from Milton.